EBC Survey on Effects of the Coronavirus on Business (3/2020)

Reaction of the European business community in Japan to the COVID-19 and the impact on its operations

This survey has been designed by the European Business Council in Japan and sent to the 18 European National Chambers of Commerce in Japan, who kindly circulated it among their Members. Industry was given between February 26th to March 10th, 2020 to answer the questionnaire. The data was collected anonymously. In February 2020, the European Union and Japan celebrated the first anniversary of the entry into force of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). According to a European Commission Press Release, “in the first ten months following the implementation of the agreement, EU exports to Japan went up by 6.6% compared to the same period the year before.” In this context of increased exchanges between the EU and Japan, the objective of this survey is to better understand the current situation at European companies operating in Japan confronted to the COVID-19 crisis and to highlight its direct impact on their economic activity.

SUMMARY 260 companies from 16 EU countries answered the survey. 82% of them introduced changes to their working style to protect their employees by implementing specific measures such as restrictions on business trips (76%) and public events (55%). Telework is an interesting option for most of them (70%).

The impact on turnover for the first semester 2020 is generally revised downwards: 35% of the respondents expect a 20% decline, but 38% stress their lack of visibility.

The impact on the companies’ activity is mostly felt on business trips (87,5%), on supply chains (34%) and to a minor degree on cash flow (19%), employment (16%) and cost reduction (16%).

For detailed results of the survey,
please click the PDF link on the right.